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Andy Warhol 200 One Dollar Bills

Andy Warhol: 200 One Dollar Bills

Richard Pryor: Brewster's Millions

Which one would you like to hang out with: Richard Pryor or Andy Warhol?

The case for becoming an artist or befriending an artist. Did you hear the story about the 200 pieces of $1 Dollar bills that magically turned into $8 to $12 Million Dollars? This is the story of Andy Warhol's 200 One Dollar Bills. A testament that anything is possible when the stars align. But to make the stars align, that is the trick...

200 One Dollar Bills. is the monumental masterpiece from Andy Warhol's first series of silkscreened paintings and is a powerful declaration of the genesis of Warhol’s major contribution to art history. Warhol had already revolutionized American art by restoring representation and objective imagery to painting in the startling guise of common, everyday objects such as Campbell’s Soup Cans, comics, magazine advertisements and newspaper headlines in late 1961 to early 1962. But the 'Pop Art' revolution was not complete until Warhol discovered the artistic technique that would give him the freedom to exploit his new approach to subject matter. Warhol responded to the post-war world's media and consumerist saturation by seeking a form of art that would remove the hand of the artist, creating the same sense of distance and disconnect that was emerging in the world around him. Earlier Warhol had painted projected images and used stencils and rubber stamps, as formalist experiments, but silk-screening would prove to be his perfect muse. Screening was a mechanical process, and represented an intervention between the artist and the canvas; but in his usual contradictory manner, Warhol would subvert his own intention of "mechanized art" by using the process to create an unending variety of images of both beauty and emotional impact, as well as ground-breaking influence. The series of "Dollar Bill" paintings were done in March-April 1962 and Warhol's first silkscreens were created from ink drawings he made on acetate, picturing the fronts and backs of one- and two-dollar bills. Later that year, Warhol expanded his silkcreening experimentation with the photo-silkscreen process in paintings such as .Baseball. (August 1962, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City).

The importance of .200 One Dollar Bills. goes beyond the use of silkscreen and its history of ownership to another long-lasting cornerstone of Warhol’s aesthetic practice: seriality.

The apparent simplicity and naiveté of Warhol’s work and the initial criticism of it as too readily recognizable and too accessible to qualify as art has long been confounded. As one who appreciated irony, Warhol could enjoy the controversy of his ultimate recognition and success, as well as his deeply significant influence on younger artists that followed him in the 20th Century. As the decades pass, Warhol’s place in the pantheon of American artists becomes ever more strongly established and the rare major works from the inception of his 'Pop Art' aesthetics, such as .200 One Dollar Bills., are testaments to a pivotal moment in art history.

Contemporary Art Evening Sale
November 11th, 2009